Respect for Persons

Kant considered person to be quite “fabulous”, different, better and more..

Respect for Persons

Kant considered person to be quite “fabulous”, different, better and more valuable than the rest of the creation because he possessed an intrinsic worth and his moral laws suggest that person should not be used as “means to an end”. He believed that man being rational and intelligent being has ambitions and desires so things including non-human animals can be means to man’s end. Secondly as humans are “rational agents” with a sense of righteous and duty, they are the foundation of the moral laws, making their value incomparable to anything else. Thus man has a duty towards others as not to manipulate them with lies or deception but encourage and reinforce them to achieve their ends. So what is the justification for punishment that Bentham protested against as it increased human misery? Kant being a retributivist agreed with the system of justice that evil should be paid back with evil.  The utilitarian idea of rehabilitation and correction is strongly denied by Kant as he considered it the manipulation and violation of man’s right of choice regarding his personal self. Kant’s simple idea is to punish the crime according to its seriousness. Apart from animals and mentally impaired humans Kant looks at criminals as rational beings who choose to commit the crime, proclaiming it to be a “universal law”. So it is just to respond in kind because the criminal rationally choose the crime.

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